*Click on any picture to see full size.
Summer Service Dress Tunic to Major General C. J. Venter, CB, DFC and Bar, Director General Air Force, South African Air Force
Christoffel Johannes Venter
Born November 1st, 1892
Middleberg, Capetown Province
(see service record below). C.J. Venter is one of the pioneers of the SAAF, becoming one of its first military pilots and then an archtect of the force. He is pictured wearing his winter service dress. Gen. Venter passed away feb. 20, 1977.
Summer Service Tunic
Major General Venter's service tunic and belt are pictured here with two of his contemporaries during WWII, AVM Sir Arthur Conningham, AOC Desert Air Force and Col. H.G. Willmott, OC No. 3 (SA) Wing. At this time, Venter was the Director General, SAAF (DGAF).
Visiting 3 Wing, SAAF
DGAF Venter in his bush jacket and pith helmet. He was a WWI flying ace with the RFC and continued his career training with the RAF between the wars.(From Eagles Strike, James Ambrose Brown, Purnell)

Three views of the tunic
The tunic is custom tailored out of tropical worsted wool in the Army pattern. Unlike the RAF, the SAAF retained the army uniforms and rank system. This tunic is contemporary to late WWII (1944-45)
*Click on any picture to see full size.

Venter began his military career as an infantryman in WWI but transferred to the RFC. His awards are as follows:
Order of the Bath, Commander (CB)
Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar
1914-15 Star
WWI War Medal
WW1 Victory Medal
George V Jubilee Medal
George VI Coronation Medal
South African Service Medal
Order of the Phoenix with Swords (Greece)
Military Cross 1st Class (Belgium)
DGAF Venter visiting his team in the Western Desert. From l-r, Lt.Col. H.J. Martin, Maj. Gen. F.H. Theron, Venter, and Col. H.G. Willmott (all SAAF) (From Eagles Strike, James Ambrose Brown, Purnell)
The rank of Major General was indicated by the combination of the cross sword and baton (general) and the single pip. The red collar flashes and unique baton and sword buttons applied to all generals. The orange flash under the sword and baton badge indicated that Venter was serving on active duty with the South African Forces outside of the home territory.
Reviewing SAAF Squadrons in Italy
DGAF Venter (in back) with Col. J.A. Willams, OC 2 Wing (driving) and Lt. Gen. Sir Pierre van Ryneveld, Chief of the General Staff (from Eagles Victorious, HJ Martin and Neil Orpen, Purnell)
*Click on any picture to see full size.
Reviewing SAAF Squadrons in Italy
DGAF Venter (in circle) on a visit to Italy. Standing on his left is AVM D'Albiac, RAF of the Desert Air Force.(from Eagles Victorious, HJ Martin and Neil Orpen, Purnell)

Service Records
Part of the C.J. Venter collection included copies of his pertinent military file. These give an unusual glimpse into the specifics of the General's tremendous service to his country. Based on these documents are the following milestones of General Venter's career:

Nov. 1, 1892: Born
Aug. 28, 1914: First Enlistment, South African Military Reserve, 5th Regiment, Service No. 3180
Nov. 30, 1916: Discharged from SAMR as a PFC
Dec. 1, 1916: Re-enlists in 1st South African Infantry Brigade, 1st Regiment, promoted to Acting Cpl., Service No. 10747.
February 15, 1917: Discharged from 1st SAI Brigade as acting Sgt. due to appointment to Royal Flying Corps.
February, 1917: Joined 29 Squadron, RFC (later RAF), and reached rank of Captain. Achieved ace status with a total of 22 victories. Nickname "Boetie".
August 18, 1918: Shot down in his S.E.5a and captured.
1918-1929: Captain in South African Air Force
April 29, 1929: Seconded to the RAF
May 1, 1929: Attended No. 22 Army Co-operation Course flying DH9A Bristol Fighters. Flew under the command of S/L D.O Mulholland and Wing Commander T. Leigh-Mallory.
August 1, 1929-May 30, 1930: Flight Commander in No. 16 Squadron (Army Co-operation) under W/C R.E. Saul and Air Commodore N.D.K. MacEwen.
1937: Lt. Col, Officer Commanding Witwatersrand Command, SAAF
1939: Colonel, Officer Commanding Witwatersrand Command, SAAF
February 8, 1940: Colonel, O/C Cape Command and Fortress Cmdr, The Castle, Capetown
December 12, 1940-End of WWII:Brigadier, then Major General, Director General Air Forces, SAAF.

<Initial Discharge and service records for 1914-16 service.

Re-enlistment in SAI Brigade, 1916>

"Boetie" Venter, RFC
Annual Confidential Report with T. Leigh-Mallory as WC.
Discharge Papers reflecting Venter's transfer to RFC.
<Promotion Notice upon Venter's posting to DGAF, 1940

Command Records in SAAF, 1939-1945>

R.E. Saul later in his career as an Air Commodore.
N.D.K MacEwen as a Wing Commander
*Click on any picture to see full size.

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